I'm kicking off the week with some sage advice from Kimberly Ballard of the law school's Academic Success Program (for a full interview with Ms. Ballard, click here). The advice is actually a critique about dealing with bad advice. According to Ms. Ballard, bad advice is often given out by well-intentioned students:
"Critique these pieces of advice carefully and consider the alternatives.
Bad Advice: Save up your absences and use all of them the last two weeks of class so that you can focus on exam studying.
Why this advice is bad advice:
Important topics are often covered at the end of classes because the topics are more advanced than some of the material you have had previously. You will be dependent on another student’s version of the material if you miss classes.
Your professors are likely to tie the course together in the last weeks of class. You will be dependent on another student’s version of the course if you skip classes.
Your professors are likely to talk about the exam in more detail during the last weeks of class. You will be dependent on another student’s version of the exam instruc tions, tips, and study guidelines.
You will go into exams with less personal understanding of the material covered at the end of the semester. Some professors emphasize material covered at the end of classes very heavily in the exam questions.
If you follow this advice, you will also not be reading your cases. You will only be more behind in understanding the course than you were previously.
Plan your time management for the coming weeks so that you get all of the tasks done that are necessary for success – including going to class prepared.
Do not stop reading your cases. You need to understand the material through the last class. Become more efficient and effective in your reading.
If you do not know how to structure your time for the remainder of the semester to get each task done, visit the Academic Success Office for help."